CHARLESTON, United States: The Democratic presidential nomination race shifts to South Carolina Saturday, with Hillary Clinton banking on the black vote to beat Bernie Sanders and gain momentum ahead of the multi-state “Super Tuesday” contests next week.
But in a blow to Clinton on the eve of the vote, Sanders picked up the endorsement of former labor secretary Robert Reich—who served under president Bill Clinton.
“I have the deepest respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton, and if she wins the Democratic primary I’ll work my heart out to help her become president,” Reich said in a statement.
“But I believe Bernie Sanders is the agent of change this nation so desperately needs.”
Clinton leads in the delegate count at this early stage, winning two of the first three nomination contests—in Iowa, narrowly, and then in Nevada.
And in South Carolina, where a little more than half (55 percent) of voters in the 2008 Democratic primary were African American, Clinton is favored to win.
Team Clinton—former president Bill, daughter Chelsea and Hillary—campaigned heavily Friday at churches, coffee shops and universities to ensure a victory.
“She’s battle-tested and can beat the Republicans in November. That’s important to the question of electability,” Chelsea Clinton told students at the College of Charleston.
She acknowledged Democrats probably won’t take back the House of Representatives, “so we have to have a president who knows when to stand your ground, but also knows how to find common ground.”
The candidate, meanwhile, shared a light moment with bridegroom Joe Schreck and his 10 groomsmen at a Charleston cafe, where they had just ordered a round of Bloody Marys.
“I love having men at my feet,” Clinton joked as they posed for a group photo, a few of the men kneeling around her.